Composite Tanks Boosts Spacecraft Payload
Edited by Robert H. Williams
Just produced and tested light weight liquid oxygen composite tanks for the Sprite Small Launch Vehicle are yielding an increase in mass to orbit by more than 30 percent. The fuel tanks, which are fabricated by Microcosm Inc. of El Segundo, Calif., benefited from material technology that was developed by CTD of Lafayette, Colo.
In practical terms, according to a spokesman, the advanced tanks “mean a projected performance of approximately 1,050 lbs. to low Earth orbit for a vehicle originally designed for 700 lbs…”
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